Texas Cop Actually Charged Immediately With Crime For Killing Black Man
Monday, Texas Rangers arrested Wolfe City police officer Shaun Lucas for the shooting death of Jonathan Price. This was pretty quick, as Lucas killed Price on Saturday after a series of unfortunate, but predictable, events.
According to civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who's representing Price's family (every Black family has an “in case cops kill my kid" lawyer on retainer), Price had intervened when he saw a man assaulting a woman at a gas station. The police arrived and because they are men with guns, the situation only got worse. Price put his hands up and tried to explain what was happening, but the police tried to detain him. What else are they going to do with a Black guy?
The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement that Price "resisted in a non-threatening posture and began walking away." They have their own dehumanizing language over there. “Resistance" here could've meant, “I've done nothing wrong so I'm free to leave without an ass-cheek-spreading examination."
Lucas responded violently, as he was trained: He tasered Price, as the man walked away, and then shot him because Price was flinching too much after being tased.
"When police arrived, I'm told, he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on," Merritt wrote on Facebook. "Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they 'perceived a threat' and shot him to death."
This one hurts... for so many reasons. https://t.co/Z1gTYJFXuX— Will Middlebrooks (@Will Middlebrooks)1601812507.0
Oh well, we shouldn't expect the police to understand how tasers work. Getting tased does not make someone feel better than they have in 20 years. The shit hurts.
When Price's mother, Marcella Louis, was notified of her son's shooting, she left her bed and rushed to the gas station, but the police wouldn't let her near her dying son for reasons that we all hope are more than just monstrous.
"And they wouldn't let me get close to my baby. I just wanted to hold his hand and they wouldn't let me do that," Louis said. "I just wanted to crawl over there to him."
The police had already robbed Louis of the chance to dance with her son at his wedding, but they wouldn't even let her comfort him after he was shot for no reason. Price was taken to Hunt Regional Hospital, where he died.
Cops will usually defend any grotesque act someone with a badge commits, but even the Texas Rangers, who investigated the incident, said the officer's actions "were not objectionably reasonable" or, in layman's terms, were cold-blooded murder. Lucas was booked on Monday and was transferred to the Rockwall County jail, where he's held on $1 million bond.
The swift response is appreciated and promotes the notion that Black people don't deserve to be summarily executed. However, while Merritt is cautiously optimistic, he understand the “uphill battle to a conviction."
Price worked as a city employee in Wolfe City, which is an hour northeast of Dallas. The 31-year-old was reportedly well-known in the small community for his friendliness.
"Everybody loved Jonathan. Everybody," said his sister, April Louis. "Black, white, Mexican, it doesn't matter. He loved everybody. Everybody loved him."
Except the police.
Price was also a fitness trainer, but I doubt it was his muscular frame alone that spooked Lucas so much he gunned him down like a rabid dog.
Will Middlebrooks, a former Boston Red Sox player, grew up with Price. He shared photos of Price on Facebook with the following message.
See this face? This is the face of one of my childhood friends. The face of my first ever favorite teammate. The face of a good man. But unfortunately it's the face of a man whose life was taken away from him last night with his hands in the air, while a small town East Texas cop shot him dead. Why? Bc he was trying to break up a fight at a gas station... for some reason he was singled out. I'll let you do the math.
There's no excuses this time ... "He was a criminal" ... Nope, not this time. "He resisted arrest, just comply with the cops" ... Nope that one doesn't work this time either. This was purely an act of racism. Period. So, for all of you that think this is all bullshit, you need to check yourselves.
I'm sick. I'm heartbroken ... and I'm furious. Love you, JP. See you when I see you bro.
Middlebrooks has helped raised more than $56,000 for Price's family. Meanwhile, we'll mourn another young Black person whose dreams were permanently deferred.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).